Turkish police once again prevented Saturday Mothers’ vigil

Turkish riot police on Saturday blocked the sit-in protest of a group seeking justice for the disappeared known as Saturday Mothers in İstanbul, after violently intervening their 700th sit-in last weekend and detaining more than 20 protestors.

Police prevented the protestors to reach their usual rallying point at Galatasaray Square with anti-riot vehicles deployed on the Istanbul’s Taksim Square early in the morning. 

Around 300 protestors sat at the exit of the street where the police stopped them and read a press statement despite the ban, Bianet reported.  

“We are at Galatasaray because whereabouts of our missing people haven't been explained and the perpetrators haven't been punished as graves of the missing people have been hidden,” the statement read.

Ömer Çelik, the spokesperson of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced on Wednesday that Saturday Mothers’ regular vigils, the longest-running peaceful protest in Turkey, would be banned, saying that terrorist groups were taking advantage of the mothers’ protests.